News & Events

January 2008

POV Producer Visits the Institute

POV Producer Visits the Institute

POV Producer, Yance Ford, visited the Institute to share with students her knowledge on pitching and the documentary world overall. Ford has served on pitch panels at various film festivals, including the Silverdocs Film Festival, and, as a producer for the PBS series POV, helps select from over 1,000 submitted films to build a program schedule. She provided insight to students on what panelists are looking for in a pitch and what producers of shows such as POV desire in the films they select.

Ford discussed the importance of knowing your audience when pitching and the kinds of films “strands” like POV and Independent Lens look for in their programming. Because of her broad range of experience, Ford was able to give students insight into the industry and advice on funding, rights, and getting that first foot through the door.

Yance, Michelle and LaureenSecond-year students Michelle Friedline, Boaz Dvir, and Chris Brannan pitched their films and received valuable, honest feedback from Ford on their progress. Ford noted the importance of pitching with a narrative and giving the audience a sense of exactly who the characters in the film will be. During her two-day visit, Ford also took time to meet with second-year students to discuss their thesis films.

After a lunch with faculty and students, Ford screened the POV film, “Omar and Pete,” by Tod Lending and then led a discussion about the film’s strengths and why it was chosen for the program. Later, Ford also screened Susan Stern’s film, “The Self-Made Man” which was also picked up by P.O.V. Ford discussed with students and faculty Stern’s strong writing skills and how she elicited a great narrative from the film through these writing skills. Ford noted the importance of pacing and having the patience to let certain key moments play out in your film.

Yance Ford’s visit was sponsored in part by the Florida Governor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, which attracts and promotes film and video production in Florida, facilitates access to filming locations and serves as a liaison between the film industry and Florida government entities to support growth of the film industry in Florida.